Coulda, shouda, woulda. Often, sales teams whiff at deals that should have never been lost in hindsight. How does this happen?
- The data was bad.
- I didn’t know XYZ about this account/contact.
- I missed the trigger event.
- The dots were never connected.
Revenue operations frequently struggle to capitalize on the breadth of data it possesses. You have a plethora, but making sense of it can be a daunting task. However, those that rise to the challenge reaps big rewards. Organizations that put a data strategy at the crux of their planning impact the top-line, typically a 5-6% uptick in productivity rates and profitability.
Establish a Data Architecture and Hygiene Plan to Unleash Your Stack’s Full Potential
Imagine a world of crystal-clear visibility—credible data, real-time dashboards, automated insights, self-service analytics. Sound appealing? Unfortunately, this is an elusive goal for most Operations leaders. This aspirational state is often beleaguered by a siloed stack, an untrustworthy CRM, and mindshare competition from IT.
An immediate action you can take to help yourself is establishing a sales data strategy with an architecture and hygiene plan at the crux. There are 4 steps you need to take to get started:
- Align your CRM to your sales process
- Build and enrich a credible fact base
- Segment and prioritize your accounts
- Operationalize and integrate
Segmenting and prioritizing your accounts is complicated. Download our Purchase Intent Modeling tool to have a deep understanding of your customer’s ability to spend for a competitive advantage when making allocation decisions against market opportunities.
Align Your CRM to Your Sales Process
Your CRM should meet the needs of the real-world selling reality for your business. Failing to do so hampers adoption and productivity, resulting in sub-optimal data quality. Additionally, your reps may not adopt the behavior changes you are seeking, as the CRM still reflects the process of old. Here are several steps you can take to tightly align your CRM to your sales process:
- Modernize your user interface and verbiage: Too many companies show their sales process as a matrix of tables, tabs, and objects in the UI. This provides zero visual context to the user and creates confusion. The best practice is to visualize your process linearly from lead to close in the UI, with the ability to drill-down into supporting detail. Additionally, verbiage should be updated for relevancy, and remain consistent across stages, exit criteria, and key activities.
- Legacy Data Consolidation: Clean up redundant fields on your most valuable objects. Consolidate and standardize your naming conventions and taxonomy. Remove irrelevant and duplicate records. Don’t be afraid to hit ‘delete’; you’ve grown your CRM over a long period of time, it’s likely you have many contacts/accounts no longer engaging with your content.
- Admin Involvement: Involve your Admins as early as possible when making enhancements to your sales process or CRM. They will need the context and runway to ensure the updates meet your requirements, reconfigure and test applications, and guarantee a smooth deployment.
Build and Enrich a Credible Fact Base
The decisions you make are only as good as the fact base they stand upon. Once you have aligned your CRM to your sales process, the next step is to build upon your foundation with meaningful data. Data enrichment enhances your CRM and marketing platforms with valuable information that drives team success. Your reps will spend less time researching and more time selling. Leading organizations enrich their platforms with the following elements:
- Firmographics: Datapoints such as revenue, number of employees, industry, and geography can uncover insights that inform segmentation and purchase intent modeling.
- Technographics: These help your reps understand your accounts’ current stack, product usage patterns, and marketing interaction to identify selling opportunities. Elements include web analytics, email marketing, engagement patterns, IT maturity, and stack composition.
- Trigger Events: Relevant news and triggers help your reps stay on top of their accounts and identify opportunities. Events can include triggers such as technology changes, geographic expansion, new product launches, or M&A activity.
Segment and Prioritize Accounts
Now that your CRM is aligned with your sales process, and it is enriched with actionable data, the next step is to understand which accounts are going to generate the most revenue over the shortest period. Purchase Intent Segmentation quantifies the whitespace potential, propensity-to-buy, and willingness-to-pay for each account. With this knowledge, you will be able to align your best resources to the most attractive opportunities and provide intelligent strategic guidance to the rest of your organization. The output of segmentation is the following:
- Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): This is your sweet spot where companies represent the best fit for your product or service. These are the segments of the market that stand to benefit the greatest from adopting your solution. The goal is to target the type of customer where you win the most.
- Propensity-to-Buy Formula (PtB): Enables suggestive selling via a predictive model that prioritizes efforts. Firmographics, technographics, and trigger events are significant factors of the PtB formula.
- Account/Prospect Whitespace Potential: Typically defined as the ICP spend given a set of firmo/geo-graphic boundaries. We typically look at the top 80-90th percentile by strata and apply the current share of wallet analysis.
- Retail, Acquire, Develop (RAD) Model: This model defines your sales motion for each account. We typically create this model by placing the ICP score on a Y-axis, and whitespace potential on the X-axis. Perform cluster analysis to help determine which accounts qualify as Retail, Acquire, or Develop.
- Prioritized Account/Prospect List: You can use this list to align your top talent to your top accounts and prospects based on the ICP, PtB, potential, and sales motion.
Purchase Intent Segmentation can be a daunting task. Fortunately, we have resources to help. Download our Purchase Intent Segmentation tool to kick-start your ideation.
Operationalize and Integrate
You have now aligned your CRM to your sales process, it’s clean and enriched with actionable data, and you have segmented and prioritized your accounts. First off – take a breath and pat yourself on the back; this was a lot of work. Your hygiene plan is executed, your team is armed with a plethora of relevant data, and you know how to cover your market. What’s next?
- Integrate Across Platforms: These outputs should be accessible across your CRM, Marketing, Support, and Customer Success platforms. Work with your IT team to create a scalable process that freely distributes this information across the enterprise.
- Update Reporting/Dashboards: This project likely created changes in how data is captured and distributed. Work with your CRM admins to generate relevant reports, dashboards, and alerts that align with your new process.
- Establish a Refresh Cadence: Recalibration must occur annually at a minimum in order to inform Territory, Comp, and Quota decisions. IT and your CRM admins will need to work together to create a scalable refresh cadence that allows you to respond to market changes with agility.
Stop wondering what could have, should have, or would have been. With your new data strategy, missed connections are a thing of the past. Monetize your data assets by aligning your CRM to your sales process, building a clean and enriched fact base, and segmenting and prioritizing your accounts. Download our Purchase Intent Segmentation tool to ground yourself in our approach, and guide your ideation.
Over the last few months, SBI has created several resources for Sales Leaders as they rethink their coverage strategy for the remainder of 2020. For more information, watch our webinar recording for a discussion on Revising Your Sales Coverage Strategy During COVID-19, or view this blog on how to leverage data when making coverage-related decisions.